Jürgen Klinsmann Names 22-Man Roster for Matches Against Honduras and Ecuador
Head coach of the U.S. men's national team Jürgen Klinsmann has the 22-man roster for the squad's friendly matches against Honduras and Ecuador.
The first match is Saturday, October 8th against Honduras, which is 53rd in the world. Honduras has been up and down as of late, defeating 47th-ranked Venezuela in a friendly match in August before losing to 32nd-ranked Colombia and 24th-ranked Paraguay earlier in September.
Just three days later, on Tuesday, October 11th the U.S. will turn around and play Ecuador, which is ranked 69th in the world. The Ecuadorians have been on a tear, winning three straight games dating back to August.
Klinsmann will have his hands full as he tries to capture his first victory since replacing Bob Bradley as head coach in July.
So who did Klinsmann call up to face Honduras and Ecuador next month? Let's find out.
There's no real surprises here, except that Klinsmann opted for three goalkeepers instead of the two he relied on against Belgium. Tim Howard will obviously get the start.
Nick Rimando from Real Salt Lake of the MLS will be called on to be the third-place goalkeeper. It's very unlikely that Rimando will get any playing time against Honduras or Ecuador, but Klinsmann will get a long look at him in training. He's a good player who has been called up infrequently since 2002. Hopefully the international exposure helps his growth as Rimando has never played outside of the MLS.
The bigger news is that because there are three goalkeepers on the roster, another position will be a bit leaner.
Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers)
Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg)
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96)
Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon)
Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis)
Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)
Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
It's strange that Onyewu is back. I'm sad that Edgar Castillo—who, for lack of a better word, defected from Mexico—wasn't called up. I would have liked to see how new defenders would have done against international competition. Our back line is our Achilles heel and we need new players back there.
I think it's time to move away from Carlos Bocanegra. His mistake in last year's World Cup gave Ghana an easy go-ahead goal in the first 15 minutes. He's solid in club play for Rangers, but we need a better back line and that means we need to move away from Boca.
Problems on defense caused us to lose to Ghana in the World Cup and Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Klinsmann's priority needs to be assembling a new back line.
I like that Kyle Beckerman is getting a closer look at international play. I think he's a fiery player who can provide a spark off the bench as an international.
Michael Bradley on the team is a little odd. I always thought Bradley was a step behind the rest of the midfield and lacked the quality of Maurice Edu and Clint Dempsey. Klinsmann must see something I don't.
I also really like that Brek Shea is going to get a couple of opportunities. Shea is better than you'd expect for a player who's never played outside the MLS. He's flourished in the U-20 team and is going to be rewarded for his patience. I think he could potentially replace Bradley.
I know it seems like blasphemy, but can Landon Donovan not make appearances at international friendlies? I know he increases ticket sales and I know he's the best forward we've got, but for competitions that don't count, can we get a look at some other guys?
We have a good team of forwards when we're playing CONCACAF opponents, but against European or South American teams, we rarely score. Donovan won't be around past the 2014 World Cup. I want to know what else is out there.
Teal Bunbury is a new name. I like the exposure Klinsmann is giving the MLS. Let's hope his gamble pays off.
Jozy Altidore is an interesting prospect. He's done really well in the Dutch league, scoring three goals in seven matches for AZ Alkmaar and making a few highlight reels with top-shelf goals. Can he recapture the magic he had in 2009?